Saturday, July 20, 2013

Saturday "Morners" at the Cemetery...

 Went with my camera to Magnolia Cemetery this morning.

Only my second time there, which is sorta unusual for a native.

First time was many years ago with a large group from The Post and Courier when a beloved editor was buried.

She had died in an horrendous crash on the old Cooper River bridge. Much too young.

Today I wandered into a CSA (Confederate States of America) burial ground section. I'm told there are generals buried there.

The grass had not been mowed (mown?) and the flowers placed by this stone had died, but the flag looked fresh.

Soldiers bodies had been re-interred here after battles in the north, according to a small plaque I saw.

About 26 members arrived early with their cameras, lenses, tripods .... and bug spray.

I had to use a cell phone for directions on where to find them.

This place is HUGE.

I described ourselves as a group of "morners" for obvious reasons.

There had been drizzle and was still cloudy but heavy rain held off.

Muggy, of course, so our activity was at a slow pace as angles were considered and results planned.

 My camera is called a Point & Shoot and usually manages to take shots where EVERYTHING is sharp.

Today I wanted results with a shallow DOF (Depth of Field).

A standard DSLR can do this easily but I had to "fool" my camera into keeping the foreground sharp while letting all else become blurred.

Being cloudy - and less bright - I did not have to use any dark filters to let me open the lens much wider.

My camera has an f/2.0 settting so I balanced all that extra light with a low film speed (ISO).

Also used a faster shutter speed (1/600th of a second) to achieve the relatively shallow area that would be in sharpest focus.

Sorry this is getting technical but fellow photo group members always ask about things like this so we all can learn and advance.

You're getting this as a bonus!
 As I've noticed before, photographers get very intent on capturing an image they envision in their head and ignore things like sitting on wet grass.

Sometimes, even nearby alligators. Yikes.

This NOT a good idea.

(There was a sign posted warning there might be 'gators around but I didn't see any.)

On past field trips snakes and other critters have been seen.

Well, we ARE wandering in their area after all.

I could not resist using some of the new post-production tools
that let me alter the look.

This let's me change what was actually in front of my eyes.

The top picture of the flag - and the dead flowers - has been "aged" and given what is called a "mild grunge" appearance.

I felt it gave a more somber and respectful feeling to the image I shot.

The angle itself follows certain "rules" that lets your eye follow a defined "line."

Another is the "Rule of Thirds" which avoids putting thing in the center. Instead the attention is in a third of the picture.

OK, That's it for lectures today. Go have fun.

(Click on the photos for more details.)

No, that was NOT an original CSA flag.

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